Five Weeks in a Balloon

Synopsis: Professor Fergusson plans to make aviation history by making his way across Africa by balloon. He plans to claim uncharted territories in West Africa as proof of his inventions worth.
Director(s): Irwin Allen
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
101 min

Here am I, what a lucky guy

As the world

goes floating by

In the open air without a care

Five weeks in a balloon

I wouldn't trade

my place today

With the king of Mandalay

High and low and away we go

Five weeks in a balloon

Now when I'm floatin'

high up in the blue

There is nothing I cannot do

I'm taller than an elephant

and twice as powerful too

So come with me

and you will see

Why I'm happy as can be

And you'll be too

when you've been through

Five weeks in a balloon

With the wonders

of nature below me

And the limitless sky

up above me

I will touch the stars

and bow to Mars

Five weeks in a balloon

During the day

I will ride on a sunbeam

During the night

I will rest on a moonbeam

I'll be lulled to sleep

No counting sheep

Five weeks in a balloon

When I'm floatin'

high up in the blue

There is nothing I cannot do

I'm taller than an elephant

and twice as powerful too

So come with me

and you will see

Why I'm happy as can be

And you'll be too

when you've been through

Five weeks in a balloon

And you'll be too

when you've been through

Five weeks in a balloon

Professor, can't you do something?

- Fergusson, you fool!

- Hey, what?

This is madness!

Stark insanity!

Are we all to be smashed

to smithereens in this fool machine?

That was not my original intention.

Take her up, man! Throw out

the ballast. Isn't that how it's done?

Very true, except

that we carry no ballast.

- No ballast?

- No ballast except ourselves.

Unless one of us would like

to jump overboard to save the others.

Sir Henry?

Oh! It's too late!

Very well, Professor.

Explain what happened.

The general wanted to ascend.

I was very happy to oblige.

- How?

- Newest Fergusson invention.

- Which is?

- Explain it, Jacques.

Yes, sir. Gentlemen.

The gas circulates through the pipes

into this heating chamber.

We turn up the heat,

the gas expands, and up we go.

We turn down the heat, and

we drop like a busted balloon.

No! No! Don't do that!

Up here, gentlemen, you're

as safe as in your own beds.

For the first time, a balloon can rise

or descend without loss of any gas.

Very ingenious, no doubt, but was it

necessary to treat us to cheap theatrics?

Well, my apologies, Sir Henry...

but so many of my brilliant inventions

have passed unnoticed...

that I felt this one might fare better if

presented with a certain dramatic impact.

You have proved

your point, Professor.

Now may we descend

in a less rugged area?

With pleasure.

Home, Jacques.

Sir Randolph, what are you doing here?

The same as you, sir.

After all, the professor's story

will interest my readers too.

Yes, and here is a story

that will interest you.

Hmm? In trouble again.

Haul in the line!

- A fine show, sir.

- Very graceful, Professor.

- Marvelous. Marvelous.

- Thank you, all of you.

- A perfect landing, sir.

- More than that, sir. A perfect demonstration, eh?

Well, gentlemen, are you ready to take

another trip on my good ship Jupiter?

I-I-I have a pressing appointment, sir.

Ah, that's a pity.

Sir Henry, now that my balloon

is a proven success...

can I count on the backing of the Royal

Geographic Institute to carry out my plans?

Your plan, sir,

is completely lunatic.

Exploring East Africa in this-

this imbecilic contraption?

- Imbecilic?

- I know Africa.

Neither you nor your toy

would last a week.

How dare you refer to Fergusson's

masterpiece as a toy!

- Ha! Fergusson's folly, sir.

- Sir, you go too far.

I will go farther.

As president

of the Royal Geographic Institute...

I will not recommend one penny

for your preposterous project.

And I'm sure our good treasurer agrees.

I do indeed.

A good day to you, sir, and good-bye.

Good morning to you, Professor!

What happened up there, Professor?

Sir Henry Vining is a human ostrich.

The first sign of progress, he buries his head

in the sand and hopes that it will go away.

- Ostrich.

- Before my invention...

no man could maneuver a balloon

without the loss of gas or ballast.

Sir Henry's a dolt who cannot recognize...

the greatest breakthrough in science

since steam replaced sail.

Then your expedition's off, sir?

Without the backing

of the financial institute, I'm afraid so.

- One moment, please.

- And who might you be, sir?

The name's Cornelius Randolph...

publisher of the Randolph

newspapers in America.

I'm very happy to meet you, sir.

How can I help you?

Oh, we can help each other, sir.

Now, I understand your project

is for the exploration...

and mapping of East Africa,

starting from Zanzibar.

- That was my intention.

- A stupendous story, if successful.

Sir, you could not be more right.

Then go to it, sir,

with my blessing and my backing.

- Why would you, an American-

- Circulation, Professor. Circulation.

New Yorkers will be fighting to buy

Mr. O'Shay's story of your adventures.

- Mr. O'Shay?

- Yes, Donald O'Shay, my star reporter.

Where is this gentleman?

O'Shay's in Paris at the moment

on a, uh, special assignment.

I'll have him join you in Zanzibar.

Mr. Randolph, as you Americans say,

it's a pleasure to do business with you...

and your Mr. O'Shay

will be very welcome.

Good. You'll find him a splendid

and, uh, inoffensive young man.

- Professor.

- I tell you, Inspector, again.

My ship sails within the hour.

This is downright abduction.

- If you please, sir.

- I do not please!

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Charles Bennett

Charles Bennett was an English playwright, screenwriter and director probably best known for his work with Alfred Hitchcock. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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